Anberlin

Posted: November 23, 2010 in Dan Meets Celebrities, Gigs

Anberlin.

Anberlin are a band, and Anberlin rock.

Anberlin boulder.

Anberlin are the heirs to the throne. My #1 favourite band in the whole wide world, and 2 years ago? I saw them live. An incredible gig, and I won ‘most desperate fan of the night’. My prize? I got to sit on the train home spinning the drummer’s drumstick.

Tonight?

Tonight, they are back.

I meet Big Boots at the station at 6. Hayley and Joe have arrived. The doors have already opened but Anberlin aren’t on til 8.45. There’s only one thing for it.

“Two double cheeseburgers and a small coke please”. Joe’s bought an overpriced burger. It’s called ‘The Big Tasty’, but it doesn’t look that big, or tasty. Or the. Big Boots tells me I should try to get the drumstick again. Hayley agrees with all the excitement of Nemo on his first day at school. I think they overestimate my ability to catch – by which I mean they think I have one. The last one bounced out of my hand and I found it on the floor foraging through feet.

I need a wee.

The loo is upstairs. I walk up the stairs. I trip on the stairs. I really trip on the stairs. There is a whisper and a clamour as Hayley laugh-splutters wet gherkin all over Big Boots’ face.

Ah, young love. Young life.

We set off and stroll in late and queueless. I WILL buy a t-shirt. I’ve saved money, and remember regretting not buying one before. I’ve got a drumstick, but it’s been busy living on top of the kitchen doorframe for two years. I could have been wearing Anberlin! Proclaiming Anberlin to the depraved! People of reclusion who’ve missed out on the promise! The inevitable! The uncanny! We’ll take them as we find them! They belong here. Closer.

You can’t wear a drumstick. Nah, impossible. Unless you sellotape it to your jumper, but that’d look a bit odd. You’d need to tape on a whole drum kit, and that’d hurt your back. You’d need some kind of drum-bra. Roadies would love it! Maybe they could do one for amps, or massive ones for band members to sleep in on the road! Still, it’s too late for me. I’m so sorry American boys. I blew it. I’m the patron saint of lost causes. Blame me, blame me.

The room is dimly lit. I buy a nice green hoodie. The guy on the merch table knows Anberlin. He says I might get to meet them later. Brilliant! I’ve already met most of the good celebrities. Derek Jefferson, Bruce Grobbelaar, Nerina Pallot, Tommy Johnson, and the rarely superfluous Adrian Chiles. I need a band to get a full set. I’ll happily exchange one for a footballer. I’ve got loads of those. I’ve even got swaps. Actually, I need a TV presenter too. Is Ashley Blake still in prison? I’m not sure I can count Dan’s News.

Something I’ve learnt meeting these great men, these authentic superheroes; is that nobody’s special. I hate people going all teenage-girly over celebrities. Still, some people are awesome. I want to meet Anberlin! Especially the singer. Or a guitarist. Or the drummer! The bassist will do if he’s the best I can get. Forgive me, but I play bass! It’d be like meeting someone from primary school. What do you talk about? Bottle-top football? Big Fat Laura standing up in order?

We are at the front waiting, debating the setlist. I turn round to announce my prediction that they will debut with ‘Adelaide’ and accidentally elbow Joe in the face. They all disagree. “It’ll be ‘We Owe This To Ourselves’”. Pah.

As if.

I turn back to the way I was facing, and accidentally elbow Joe in the face.

I see a screen advertising other bands playing here. The Goo Goo Dolls! Oh. They played here last night. I’m a day late.

The drummer walks on, and kicks off ‘We Owe This To Ourselves’.

Drat! They all get 10 points.

They are halfway through the set, and both guitarists have picked up acoustic guitars. I mouth the words ‘Unwinding Cable Car’ to Big Boots. He disagrees and shakes his head. They play the riff. Big Boots shakes his head. The singer sings “you’re like an unwinding cable car”. Big Boots shakes his head, but I know he knows I know he knows I’ve equalised. All of a sudden, the crowd goes mental. It’s ‘Godspeed’, and instantly there is a small moshing area behind me.

Flipping kids.

I used to like moshing, but since my glasses have started falling off my face and moshing became about GBH-ing strangers, it’s become the game of idiot 17 year olds. There are little young ladies at this gig getting clattered! Still, it’s ‘Godspeed’, so I join in.

The verse kicks in and the moshing dies down. But something inside me has awoken. I’m no longer taking friendship personal! – sorry, personalLY – I am in the zone. Invigorated by the exuberance around me.

I have been left to the wolves and moshed.

There’s only one thing for it.

I jump wildly and throw my arms in most directions. I am loving it. Big Boots, Hayley and Joe are all loving it. I suspect the people around me and behind me are probably loving it as well.  Screw moshing! This is The Epileptic Spider! The way forward! This is MY dancing! I am The Resistance!

I get tired and stop.

I get moshed in the back.

Flipping kids.

Anberlin disappear for the fake finale. This is where we have to shout loads for them to come back. I decide it’d be funny to not shout for an encore. It always looks so fake when bands come back on immediately. Still, I’m secretly hoping they come back on soon.

Soon they come back on.

“Booo! Too easy!”

They launch into ‘Feel Good Drag’ and it feels good without dragging. They finish. And walk off stage again! Last time they did a second encore… because we shouted hard enough! Tonight though, there’s a curfew. A stupid club nobody cares about is opening afterwards. Pah! that won’t stop me.

“WE WANT MORE! WE WANT MORE!” The crowd joins in! I see a guitar being picked up on the side of the stage. I cheer. Yes! I’ve done it!

A roadie walks on holding a guitar.

The crowd dies a little inside. I have one more weapon up my sleeve.

“ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!”

I am inciting a riot.

I see another guitar being picked up on the side of the stage. I cheer. I squeak. Another roadie walks on. The PA guy has put some music on.

My riot isn’t going very well.

Everybody else stops. One fan puts his arm around me and tries to join in but picks a football chant with a complex tune and kills off any latent militance.

Anberlin… have… *fin.

The roadies start lobbing stuff out to the crowd. Plectrums. Not Jazz 3s?? Shocker!

I am imagining what Nexus would say when he picks them up. The drumsticks. He throws the first.

To the right.

Oh no!

He grabs the second and lobs it towards the middle of the crowd.

I am in the middle of the crowd! This is my last chance!

I think I’m overestimating my ability to catch – by which I mean I think I have one. My arms are made of unset jelly designed as an emergency snack for Big Fat Laura in case of poor posture, but these are extreme circumstances. And people can do amazing things in extreme circumstances! This is my second last chance. Ever. Poetry in the making. History to be written, and my arms are very long…

I breathe.

MAXIMUM SUPER TALL GUY POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dive two metres over seven tiny normal-sized people and at full wingspan swipe the stick out of the air, a country mile above the other pathetic hands. With majesty I land majestically.

A few moments pass.

My brain begins to catch up.

I caught it!

I caught it! I am hugging my prize when the bassist comes out. I see him. Meh. I’m too busy hugging.

Nobody better comes out. I give up waiting and go and talk to the bassist. I don’t know his name.

“Mr Bassist?”

He doesn’t seem to know what bottle-top football is and looks very confused at my drum-bra idea so I just get a handshake and a photo of the two of us staring with mouths agape at my latest snaffling. Dion the Anberlin Bassist is now in a very small club with Adrian Chiles, smoking cigars and listening to experimental Prussian jazz whilst having an awkward conversation about wishing he’d never left the BBC. Adrian keeps talking about Des Lynam. Dion has a pained expression on his face.

Big Boots, Hayley, Joe and I walk home; the most desperate fans of the night. We have the official grey hoodie, the official t-shirt, the officially imported new album, Hayley’s official signed plectrum and Dion’s official DNA.

We climb onto the train home. I sit down, and spin my drumstick with a smile.

 

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